August 6, 2007

I love the kind of personal blogging that seems intimate...

... but really tells you nothing personal. If you think you can see in between the slightly tilted slats in the blinds, you still don't know it's not your own reflection.

17 comments:

AJD said...

Um, it isn't personal blogging if it doesn't tell you anything personal. It is faux personal blogging. So of course you love it!

Annie A-House: Queen of Faux

amba said...

A good description of your own. "Redirection."

Joseph Hovsep said...

I like that phrasing

Ruth Anne Adams said...

While we're sort of on this topic, please tell Tonya that I miss her blog being public.

Pogo said...

Re: "between the slightly tilted slats in the blinds"

Beautiful.

Teune said...

This blog has caught my eye on more than one occasion too. The photos are quite nice. I worry about this kind of pseudo-intimate blogging however. For one, it gives the distinct impression that she is never at her job, or that she is employed by the taxpayers of Wisconsin to travel Europe, sampling the wares of every "quaint" cafe and market in existence. (Presumably, this is incorrect? Ann would know.) All it would take is the "right" Wisconsin legislator getting wind of this. It's scary.

Ann Althouse said...

Teune: She works really hard, in fact. A really lazy professor would do anything but this. Think about the motivations.

Ann Althouse said...

I mean, what if I wrote one post a day and it was just about something I saw on TV. You might think: Hey, that lawprof just spends the whole day watching TV. But obviously, I could accomplish that feat of blogging in less than an hour a day -- in a lot less time than other people are spending just watching TV inertly.

I know blogging exaggerates how things look. So, if I hold a glass of wine in a photo -- I'm seen as a drunk! Yet, if you think about it, you'd realize that if I were actually a drunk, I would use a different picture.

And if I indulge in an offbeat locution, people call me insane. But if I were really afraid I might be insane, I'd take care to write conventional sentences that spelled out one thing after another with conspicuous logic.

Palladian said...

Not to get too personal, but is AJD someone Althouse turned down for a date or something? He seems to be sort of, err, frustrated.

Sir Archy said...

To Professor Althouse:

Madam,

We may freely speak our Minds, because we enjoy similar Situations;
I have been dead these 200 years, and you possess Tenure.

It is a Thing worthy of Debate to prove which of us may enjoy the Advantage.

Madam, it is with Sentiments of the highest Regard that I remain,

Your Humble & Obt. Servant,

Sir Archy

Mindsteps said...

For years, behavioral scientists have written that you can learn a great deal about a person if you listen to what they do, not just what they say. Ann, you have selected remark that focuses on the content of what a person says or writes. On the other hand, one can tune in to the process of say a vlog or blogginghead dialogue and discover personal information about a person's values or behavioral style. Although more difficult with written language, one can also examine the process (not just the content) of the written material for clues about an individual's personal characteristics. Most folks generally seem to be less aware of, and have less control over, the processes involved with communication, relative to the content of their communication.

Sir Archy said...

It is never an easy Thing to admit of our Failings.  I confess that even in my Day, my Education was Rustick and old-fashioned.  You may see for Yourselves that my expression is curious and my Usages quaint.  I will claim, however, an Advantage for those of us school'd more than 250 years ago:  We wrote what we meant without resort to Jargon or Cant.  You will know that Dr. Johnson complain'd much of Cant; but his cholerick Observations were commonly made with an eye to give his turgid Writings the Advantage over those to whom he would play the Critick.

Not wanting to appear to the Publick as much the Misanthrope as Dr. Johnson, but still requiring Information, I would beg of one the Readers to kindly inform us in plain, easy, and simple English what was just written above?

Any who would do so has my sincerest Thanks.

Sir Archy

Teune said...

"I know blogging exaggerates how things look."

That was my point. I like the blog and don't know the author, but academic blogs in this mode sort of make me queasy about their effects on those who aren't enamored with our hallowed university. Blogging about what you watch on tv seems a different animal than blogging about something that might just provoke resentment: "Wait, I'm toiling away through the dark WI winter as the State Rep. from Cheeseboro (R) and this person is off in the south of France...again...and in the middle of the term?!?!" Again, makes me a bit queasy.

nina said...

If you worry about how your writing looks to others, then you may as well give up.

Can't remember being in the south of France in the middle of the semester... Sounds nice... Especially in winter... mmmm...

If I could, I would spend the entire summer in Europe. Many academics do. It's not hard to work on materials from any place on the planet. Unfortunately, I am one of the very very few who has to teach during summer session. Without additional compensation. Should I write about that? Sounds boring to me.

Winter in the south of France... I can't stop thinking about that!

Thanks, Ann, for the comments.

Ann Althouse said...

Nina, the students and the administration should be thrilled to have a lawprof who's energized to the point of such bold traveling. Anyone can curl up on the couch. Makes me wonder why I don't relocate more often. Maybe law scholarship would gain something by contemplation in the south of France.

Ann Althouse said...

But, beyond all that, real writing takes the risk. At some point, you have to make the statement that writing matters. And the truth is, we have a cushy life, especially me. You, with your background, growing up in Poland, must know how unbecoming timorousness is here in Madison, Wisconsin.

nina said...

It shocks me. Each time I listen, I hear it and sort of can't believe it.